Skip to main content

Good Friday in Paraguay

Our first Good Friday in Paraguay is distinctly engraved in my mind. The normally noisy "barrio" was completely silent and no one left their homes. There was not one motorcycle on the streets that day. I thought I had missed the rapture!

Traditionally, Paraguayans do not cook on Good Friday, so on Ash Wednesday and Maunday Thursday, they work hard grinding corn to make sopa paraguaya , prepare the pig, chicken or beef for the grill and most commonly, elaborate the chipá. Most Paraguayans observe a type of "fast" by only eating chipá in representation of the Passover, (since it contains no yeast). They are silent in respect of Christ's suffering and death on the cross and do not leave their homes. I have grown to really enjoy this reverent observance of Christ's sacrifice and we join in with the cultural festivities.

There are 70 wonderful variations of chipá, including meat or corn filled versions. Here's the recipe for chipá that I'll be making today:

2.2 lbs (1 kilo) of almidón (yucca flour)
2 sticks of butter
4 cups of grated cheese (preferably white or mild cheese)
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 T anis
1/2 T salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 F. Mix all liquid ingredients together, and mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add dry mix to the liquid ingredients. Mix dough by hand until firm and roll into balls. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top.

How do you celebrate Easter? Do you observe Good Friday in any special way?


  1. I'll have to look for some yucca flour. Can you get it in the US? It would be fun to surprise people when we get there by already knowing how to make chipa! :)

  2. I miss all the silence that surrounds good friday when I am not in Latin America, its such a restful time.

    I will miss the chipa too!

  3. I am awaiting the silence. Venezuelan tend to be big, loud party people and Semana Santa is when everyone goes to the beach. This will be new for me.

  4. It's so quiet here today in Mexico!!! I thought maybe I just wasn't hearing things as well because I have an ear infection, but I think it really IS quiet! So unusual for this neighborhood...the chipa looks great!!! Wish I could try one...we recently sampled some sweet tamales here in Mexico and they add anis, too. Probably nothing like the chipa, but it reminded me of those...


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

September highlights. A month in Paraguay

I want to thank you for hanging out with us this past month. Every day was different. Sometimes I wish I had more of a routine. But in my missionary role, routine is not something I experience very often. Here are a few September highlights.

We traveled to Asuncion, to get some paperwork done. The trip to Asuncion generally takes six hours on a two lane road, with crazy traffic. We avoid these trips as much as possible. 

I was part of a Baptism ceremony in the Parana River. 28 people made a public commitment. The Parana Rive is the second one in size after the Amazon River.

I had a chance to continue my bible teaching at our local church on Tuesday evenings. I fill in various classes and find teaching very rewarding.
We celebrated Anahi’s 6th birthday with our immediate family. Anahi is finishing her preschool and will start first great next year

We celebrated Dominick’s 4th month. He also got his shots last week. Dominick has occupied the center of attention. He has been a great joy for …

Technology in missions

As I started my day, within a few hours, I had a list of things to do. By 10 am I had enough items to keep me busy for a week. After several hours in the office, I was able to send audio messages and video conference with people on both side of the Equator. I sent letters out to several people in just a few seconds. I posted on FB, and I googled some maps while listening to a webinar.
Did my grandparents or even my parents have these technologies? The answer is no. David and Lilian Meier left on a steam ship the port of New Orleans in December of 1935 towards South America. All the field knowledge they had was a letter from a German missionary who wrote to America saying. Will someone come to Brazil?

That was the beginning. Their first trip lasted a decade serving in several places in South America. There where no phone calls, no daily FB updates and no cool Instagram pictures. Few words on a telegram, or when letters were written they delivered weeks later were the ways of communica…

A month in Paraguay, Come and hang out with us

Book fair – Freedom of expression
Its was the beginning of the 12th , annual book fair. This event is organized by a local university as one of its arms into the community. Publishers, book sellers and authors come to present their books. Until Sunday Sept 11th, kids, professors from different schools will come and visit plaza de armas (city square of weapons) in downtown Encarnacion to learn and interact. In parallel with the book fair, workshops are going on all day, dealing with topics as wide as social media, religion, politics, team work, biographies, and history.

Just to refresh our memory, until 1989 Paraguay had only two universities in the country. The country was governed by a dictator for 35 years. Freedom of expression could cost exile, jail or even death. That’s only about 30 years ago. Today there are 54 universities, but still only about 4% attending university. People are gaining their voice without fear of repression after two hundred years. You can imagine how these …